Insights on Construction Technology Trends
The business case for technology hardly can be ignored. Companies around the world in various industries are finding new ways to reduce expenses and drive profitability through technology integration. This is as true for the local hardware and grocery store as it is for construction companies. According to the 6th Annual Construction Technology Report, published by JB Knowledge companies are continuing to expand their IT investments in workflow management, communication and even with emerging technologies. The survey provides specific information about the most popular accounting, project management and other software applications in use. There also is information on how mobile integration is being used. To help clients, prospects and others understand reporting findings and how they can use the information, Hanson & Co has provided a summary of key details below.
About the Survey
The survey was distributed to construction industry professionals using a variety of print and digital methods. The survey had 1,974 respondents representing various company types including general contractors, subcontractors, design and build contractors, and construction technology providers. The size of companies participating varied widely, but a majority had between 100 and 1,000 employees with a revenue range between $5 million and $100 million. More than 40 percent of respondents work at companies that have been in business for 40 or more years.
Key Survey Insights
- Spending Growth – According to the survey, 46 percent of respondents spent less than 1 percent of annual sales on IT, 14 percent spent 1 percent of annual sales on IT, 10 percent spent 2 percent of annual sales on IT and 2 percent of respondents spent 5 percent or more of annual sales on IT. These numbers show a shift toward increased spending, as prior year surveys showed that 56 percent of respondents were spending less than 1 percent on IT. The data confirms industry companies are continuing to invest in and leverage the benefits of IT.
- Mobile Integration – As technology continues to evolve, the use of mobile devices and software has become more prominent. According to the survey, 42.7 percent of respondents indicated mobile integration is important, 40.4 percent indicated it’s very important and the remaining indicated it was not very important. This is a sharp shift in thinking as only five years earlier, 41 percent of respondents, when asked the same question, indicated mobile integration was not at all important.
- Recent Workflow Implementation – According to the survey, 25.6 percent of respondents had recently implemented an accounting solution to enhance workflow, 22 percent use a project management solution, 14 percent implemented CAD/BIM, 13.1 percent implemented an estimating solution and 9 percent implemented a customer relationship management solution. Other mentions include bid management, project scheduling, takeoff and prequalification solutions. It’s important to note enterprisewide solutions often include solutions for project management, scheduling and estimating. This may explain why some solutions show a lower implementation percentage.
- Accounting Software – To understand what the most commonly used accounting software is, respondents were asked to identify the software they currently use. According to the survey, 27.7 percent use Timberline, 17.4 percent use Viewpoint, 10 percent use QuickBooks, 6 percent use Dexter & Chaney, 5.3 percent use Penta and 5.1 percent use CMiC. Other notables include COINS, ComputerEase, Foundation, Jonas and SAP.
- Project Management Software – Building on the information outlined above, the survey also wanted to know the most commonly used project management software. 22.9 percent of respondents indicated they use Procore, 17.5 percent use Viewpoint, 14 percent use Sage, 8.4 percent use CMiC, 7.2 percent use Prolog and 3.9 percent use Penta. Other software applications mentioned include eSUB, ComputerEase, Jonas, Constructware and HCSS Heavy Job.
- Company Communication – Communication is an essential role that technology plays for many industry companies. Ensuring there is a free flow of information from the office to the jobsite is essential to making “on demand” changes that meet customer needs and help with resource management. According to the survey, 55.6 percent of respondents use GoTo Meeting, 36.9 percent use Skype, 25.3 percent use Webex, 12 percent use FaceTime, 11.8 percent use JoinMe and 7.5 percent use Microsoft Lync. It’s interesting to note that 13.1 percent of respondents indicated they don’t use technology as part of companywide communication.
- Emerging Technologies – Since the only constant in technology is change, it’s important to understand how companies use emerging technologies to drive efficiencies across their processes. According to the survey, 37.8 percent of respondents are using drones, 19.9 percent are using pre-fabrication, 14.7 percent use 3D scanners, 12.8 percent use virtual reality, 12.7 percent use augmented reality and 10.2 percent use 3D printers. Companies are also experimenting with wearable devices and jobsite sensors as well.
There are many solutions available to companies looking to refine processes, improve workflow and drive cost savings while enhancing profitability. While the IT recipe for success at each company differs the use of IT in the industry will continue to expand. If you have questions about the survey or need assistance with a construction audit or tax issue, Hanson & Co can help! For additional information call us at 303-388-1010 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.